Best What to See at Paris Day 2024 1
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Best What to See at Paris Day 2024

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Greetings, Internet Stranger! I’m Stella Jane, author of the travel guide Get Lost, and welcome to a what to see at Paris day! Most travelers have a foreign city that comes first in their heart.

For me, the city I always want to visit again and again is Paris. It was the first foreign city I ever visited. Like any great first love, it captured my heart at first sight. I even learned how to speak French so that I could have as much fun as possible in my favorite city.

Let other people say that Paris is overpriced, stuffy, and full of rude French people. That just leaves more Paris for you and me! And you’re in luck because today I am going to take you on perhaps my favorite what to see at Paris day.

In fact, you’re even luckier than that because today we are going to have some help exploring the city. Given that my most recent trip to Paris was my fifth time in the City of Lights, I thought it would be nice to show you some of the most beautiful and intriguing neighborhoods in the city. Follow me and I’ll show you exactly what I mean.

Stella’s Top 3 Picks: What to See at Paris

#1 TOP PICK

Best What to See at Paris Day 2024 2

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
LE MARAIS FOOD TOUR
✔️ Authentic Parisian treats
✔️ Expert local guide

#2 PICK

Best What to See at Paris Day 2024 3

PRIVATE LOUVRE TOUR
✔️ Skip the line
✔️ Best way to see the Louvre

#3 PICK

Best What to See at Paris Day 2024 4

ALL OTHER PARIS TOURS
✔️ Find your favorite!
✔️ Get the best deals

one day in paris itinerary

what to see at Paris day

Morning: Secret Paris Self-Guided Tour

As I mentioned, Paris is one of my favorite places to visit in the entire world, and on my many trips to the city, I’ve picked up all kinds of secret and hidden gems. This self-guided tour will show you just a few of my very favorites. I can’t wait to let you know all about…

Approximately top 5: what to see at Paris day

one day in paris itinerary
1) A hidden embassy

This is one of my favorite places to start a what to see at Paris day. As an American, one of the funniest Paris secrets to me was this plaque outside the swanky Hotel de Vendome, located on the just as swanky Place Vendome. This plaque honors the very first Embassy of Texas. 

No, despite what some Texans wish, Texas hasn’t seceded from the Union yet. But before Texas was part of the United States, and after it separated from Mexico, it was briefly its own country, and that means it had its very own French embassy.

Someone needs to make a movie about the experiences of the Ambassador of Texas in France. In fact, let there be two Ambassadors played by Tommy Lee Jones and Matthew McConaughey. Also, let the whole movie just be them walking around 19th century Paris in Stetson hats annoying French people. Historical accuracy be damned!

one day in paris itinerary
2) Rue St. Honore

That not terribly exciting picture above is of a Roberto Cavalli on the Rue St. Honore. This is a famous shopping boulevard for the rich and chic. But this street is more notable to me for what used to be here.

In 1870, during the Franco-Prussian War, this street was the home of a glamorous restaurant called Voisin. But because the city was under siege by the Germans, good food was hard to come by. The clever/heartless chef decided to remedy the situation by raiding the local zoo for a Christmas feast.

one day in paris itinerary

This is an actual copy of what the clientele of Voisin ate on the birthday of Our Lord in 1870: roasted camel, kangaroo stew, roasted bear chops with pepper sauce, and antelope terrine with truffles.

As horrible as it sounds, I try not to judge. If New York City were ever under siege by the Germans (or anyone else), I would probably not be above eating the Bronx Zoo to survive.

one day in paris itinerary
3) The Tuileries

Speaking of Germans invading Paris, our next stop is at the Tuileries, the gorgeous gardens right outside the Louvre. These gardens also happen to be right outside the Hotel Le Meurice, the headquarters of the Nazi occupation of Paris was located during World War II.

What not everyone knows is that after it became clear to Hitler that he was going to lose the war, he gave orders to his commander in Paris, Dietrich von Choltitz, to destroy the city. Legend has it von Choltitz looked at this view outside his hotel window and thought that Paris was too beautiful to destroy, so he disobeyed Hitler’s order.

The part about the view might be a legend. However, it’s certainly true that von Choltitz disobeyed the order and left Paris standing. If you’re interested in learning more about the subject, watch the movie or read the book Is Paris Burning?

So every time you look at the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, or Notre Dame Cathedral and admire their beauty you should…thank a Nazi? As a Jewish person, I’m sure that can’t be right. Let’s go back to a less complicated part of history, like when Parisians were eating camels and bears.

one day in paris itinerary
4) The Palais-Royal

Even though I’d been to Paris four times before this what to see at Paris day, I had never had the pleasure of seeing the gardens of the Palais-Royal. It used to be the residence of all-powerful adviser to King Louis XIII and highly entertaining Tim Curry role, Cardinal Richelieu.

You might be thinking to yourself that the cardinal probably wouldn’t approve of those black-and-white candy canes scattered all around his courtyard. You would be correct! Those are an art installation called Colonnes de Buren that were installed in the courtyard in the 1980s.

I was told that the columns caused a big kerfuffle in Paris when they were put in place, just like the glass pyramid outside the Louvre had. But just keep in mind that Parisians also complained a lot about the Eiffel Tower when it was first built, so I think there’s just a good chance that Parisians don’t like change.

one day in paris itinerary
5) Secret arcades

One of my favorite parts of the what to see at Paris day was when I casually strolled through these funny hidden passageways and covered arcades that are all over Paris. It was a great way to explore the city without being swamped by tourists.

Once when I was wandering around here with a small group, a little French boy leaned out his apartment window and started waving a stick in the air as if it was a magic wand and yelling that he was giving us a light.

One of the French men with me thanked him and said that was great because we couldn’t see anything. The little boy answered, “I know! That’s why I’m giving you a light!”

You don’t have to speak French to thoroughly enjoy your time in Paris, but if you do, it will be easier to enjoy little exchanges like this one.

one day in paris itinerary
6) L’Eglise St. Eustache

Now that we’d been able to walk the streets of Paris without being hassled by tourists, it was time to stop at one of the few churches in Paris that isn’t overrun by tourists: St. Eustache. Like Notre Dame, it is a spectacular example of Gothic architecture, but unlike Notre Dame, you won’t have to wait on a grotesque line to get in.

St. Eustache has enough dreamy stained glass windows to keep the most ardent admirer of Gothic architecture happy.

one day in paris itinerary

But my favorite part of the church was the Virgin Chapel, which features three stunning paintings by fashionable French artist Thomas Couture.

one day in paris itinerary

Like most churches in Paris, St. Eustache was vandalized during the French Revolution but restored later, which explained why these paintings are from the 19th century even though the church itself is from Medieval Times.

one day in paris itinerary
24 hour treasure

As much as I love history, Gothic architecture, and Tim Curry movies, I’d be lying if I said that my favorite thing we experienced on this what to see at Paris day was anything but the Power of Cheese.

I suggest stopping by Saisons, which is an outstanding cheese shop, in order to sample their goods. One was a spicy cheese with hot pepper that strangely reminded me of Pepper Jack. Another was a soft, stinky Norman cheese canlled Pont-l’Eveque. The third was a rich cheese dotted with mustard seed called Delice de Bourgogne.

My favorite was the Delice de Bourgogne just because it was so rich and flavorful. But I wouldn’t kick any of them out of bed for being eaten on crackers.

one day in paris itinerary
24 hour tip

Of course, we also get a sweet stop on the what to see at Paris day at Ladurée, which is a branch of the famous Ladurée macaron store. I suggest choosing at least one precious macaron here, and hopefully more.

one day in paris itinerary

My tip for you is to try the white chocolate and passionfruit macaron because it’s the most popular flavor. Even if you are not a white chocolate lover (I’m not one especially), you will love its subtle fruity taste.

I adore macarons because they have such interesting flavors, and they have the light texture of a meringue. Eating one is like living out some sort of Willy Wonka fantasy where I can consume clouds that taste like any flavor I can imagine, from chocolate to snozzberry.

one day in paris itinerary

what to see at Paris day

Afternoon: Gourmet Le Marais Tour

We won’t need lunch after all those snacks, so take a moment to check out the Pompidou Center exterior above. This is a modern art museum that resembles an avant-garde level in Super Mario Bros. So I was happy to be able to explore here, even though it was just around the outside, and see what strange modern art delights I could find.

one day in paris itinerary

I like to call this display “Paul Klee and the Mobile Tree”.

one day in paris itinerary

After about an hour, it was time to head to the infamous Notre Dame Cathedral to connect with a tour guide for the afternoon portion of the what to see at Paris day. (It is called the Gourmet Le Marais tour and you can book it very easily.)

Check rates and availability of the tour right here!

Le Marais is a very special neighborhood because it combines historic buildings and gardens with chic and delicious shopping opportunities. It’s helpful to have a guide with you just so you can narrow down all the options. Even though I can’t literally share any of the food of Le Marais through the screen with you, I can share with you…

The approximately top 5: what to see at Paris day, Le Marais edition

one day in paris itinerary
1) christian vabret

Of course the first stop on any what to see at Paris day, in Le Marais or not, has to be for a baguette. You don’t need me to tell you that the French take bread making with the same seriousness that they take soccer and growing tiny mustaches, do you?

Christian Vabret, the boulangerie above, is famous for its award-winning crusty baguette. Don’t believe me, Internet Stranger? Well, here is my proof:

one day in paris itinerary

I know that says they won second place, but this is Paris, so winning second place in a baguette making contest is like winning the silver medal in the Olympics: still pretty damn impressive.

one day in paris itinerary
2) Merveilleux

We didn’t get to eat the baguette because we were saving it for a picnic later on our what to see at Paris day. So our first actual snack stop was at a patisserie in Le MaraisThis place specializes in delectable meringues combined with different flavors of whipped cream and bedizened with a variety of toppings.

I chose the scrumptious Magnifique, which has praline whipped cream and is covered with caramelized hazelnuts. It tastes like the wildest dream of an adorable French squirrel. Spoiler alert! It is not nut-free.

one day in paris itinerary
3) Macarons

Our next stop on our what to see at Paris day was at a different patisserie in Le Marais that specializes in macarons. Even though I had already eaten one macaron that day, I always say that you need at least two macarons to have a successful day in Paris! While Laduree is a more traditional pastry shop, Pierre Herme is more on the avant-garde side.

I ordered one of their most popular flavors: the Mogador, which looks like an overripe banana, but tastes of milk chocolate and passionfruit. I wonder why passionfruit was the most popular flavor at two different macaron shops.

It tasted amazing, but there’s part of me that wonders if French people just like saying the word “passion” and so that’s why this particular flavor is so popular.

one day in paris itinerary
4) The Eclair

Of course, the macaron is far from the only French contribution to the pastrial arts. We must not forget the power of the mighty eclair. Our guide said that eclairs were becoming trendy in Paris again, thanks in part to a shop in Le Marais that specializes in these beauties.

We got a surprise treat because we were able to split two different flavors of eclair: the gorgeously gold-flecked salted caramel above…

one day in paris itinerary

and this sparkling pink strawberry-raspberry. There’s really nothing as pretty as French pastry, is there? I think these doohickies belong in a museum. They were both perfect eclairs with that crunchy, light-as-helium exterior and the rich and creamy interior, but I slightly prefer the punch of the salted caramel.

one day in paris itinerary
5) Meat O’Clock

It was now time for our picnic! We already had the bread, so we just needed to get the charcuterie and the wine. We had our meat needs met at a beautifully appointed meaterie whose name literally translates to “At the Boar”. That probably explains why this husky fellow is standing outside the shop waiting to greet you.

one day in paris itinerary

We picked up a giant plate of meat (not exaggerating, as you will soon see), and we headed to the final stop to conclude our picnic!

one day in paris itinerary
6) Wine O’Clock

The shopkeeper here was very curious about the kind of wines that I liked. He peppered me with questions in French until I finally admitted that I love all kinds of wines and he should just pick out something that would go well with our meat and bread.

So I got a lovely glass of rose from the Southwest of France, and I didn’t have to make a decision. Win-win! As a bonus, I got to sample some heady grape brandy and prune brandy.

one day in paris itinerary

Now we finally got to feast! The meat selection consisted of pate, two different kinds of sausages, ham, and head cheese, which is actually meat jelly made from the head of an animal like a pig or a cow.

Our guide was very assiduous about asking which of the meats we liked the best, and we generally preferred the pate and sausage. But I would eat it all again in a heartbeat! It was a perfect end to a perfect day, and the day was not even over yet!

one day in paris itinerary
24 hour treasure

The what to see at Paris day wasn’t all eating; we also had our fair share of historical tidbits and hidden attractions. But my favorite Parisian secret on this tour was the church of Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis. It was nice to find another beautiful French church that wasn’t overwhelmed with tourists.

This one has historical significance because it is where Victor Hugo’s daughter had her wedding. Victor Hugo even donated these shell-shaped holy water vessels to the church in honor of his daughter.

one day in paris itinerary

I also have fond memories of this church because our guide saw an adviser to former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and we managed to go over and have a conversation with him. I’ve lived in the US my whole life and I’ve never had a conversation with an adviser to any President.

The closest I’ve come is chatting about Amish tomatoes with the mayor of Minneapolis. Maybe French people really are a lot friendlier than we give them credit for!

one day in paris itinerary
Fun Fact

Ex-President Sarkozy was once Mary-Kate Olsen’s brother-in-law.

24 Hour Tip

Those are all the secrets of the food tour that I can share with you for now. You’ll have to go ahead and book the tour if you want to find out more.

Check rates and availability right here!

one day in paris itinerary

what to see at Paris day

Evening: Eat With

As delightful as the food tour of Le Marais was, it was over around 6 PM so there was still plenty of time for me to get hungry by dinner. And I was even hungrier to spend time with some fun locals than I was for French food. That’s why I booked a dinner with a website called EatWith.

This is like Airbnb but with more food and less risk of showing up in a strange city only to be confronted with Crying House Dad. You just book dinner in the home of a local and show up for a charming dinner party with several fabulous strangers!

I selected A Parisian Dinner in Montmartre at the house of a former teacher whom I shall call Madame. The other guests were a couple of performing artists from California (the wife was a jazz singer, the husband an actor) and a mother and daughter, also traveling from the United States.

I felt like the six of us became friends right away as we shared Madame’s sparkling wine and delicious hors d’oeurves.

one day in paris itinerary

All of the wine and food was included with the price. This meant that we slurped pea and mint veloute for an appetizer.

one day in paris itinerary

Then we dove into a fragrant baked cod and potatoes for a main course…

one day in paris itinerary

24 hour treat: chocolate fondant cake

My favorite was Madame’s famous decadent chocolate fondant cake for a dessert. Chocolate cake is even better along with peaches cooked in wine. I often spend about nine to ten weeks a summer on the road, and though I love the gypsy life, it can get a little lonely.

Spending this evening in conversation with five charming and cultured people was really special to me. Plus have I mentioned that there was all the French wine a person could ask for? So even if your fellow guests are not as delightful as mine were, you can still make your own fun.

what to see at Paris day

what to see at Paris day

Where to Stay?

Paris, you may have heard, is a rather popular city for tourists. That means you’ll never be starved for choices for where to stay during your what to see at Paris day. The important thing is to pick the right neighborhood. In Paris, they don’t always say neighborhood, they might say arrondissement.

And my favorite arrondissement to stay in is the 14th. Most of the Montparnasse neighborhood is in the 14th, so there’s always tons of people around. That way I feel safe as a solo traveler.

The last time I was in Paris, I stayed at the Hotel du Lion. The rooms were small, but clean, the breakfast was very good and filling, and the price was amazing. Plus, the location was super convenient and right by the metro.

If you want a great deal on this hotel, click here.

And if you want to explore great deals on tons of other hotels in Paris, just click here. This search engine will help you find the perfect place to stay during your what to see at Paris day. With plenty of options to choose from, I’m sure you’ll find something for your schedule and budget.

one day in paris itinerary

That’s a Perfect what to see at Paris day

What would you do with a what to see at Paris day? Are you ready to start booking your hotel in Paris right now? Would you rather eat head cheese made from a cow or a pig?

And which former world leader’s brother should Ashley Olsen marry? Is President Macron’s brother single? Please email me at stellajane@aroundtheworldin24hours.com and let me know!

Stella’s Top 3 Picks: What to See at Paris

#1 TOP PICK

Best What to See at Paris Day 2024 2

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
LE MARAIS FOOD TOUR
✔️ Authentic Parisian treats
✔️ Expert local guide

#2 PICK

Best What to See at Paris Day 2024 3

PRIVATE LOUVRE TOUR
✔️ Skip the line
✔️ Best way to see the Louvre

#3 PICK

Best What to See at Paris Day 2024 4

ALL OTHER PARIS TOURS
✔️ Find your favorite!
✔️ Get the best deals

Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY have a what to see at Paris day.

You can also try 24 hours in Paris. Add on a day of the best what to eat Paris. Check out a day of the best attractions Paris France. Experience this day of the best non touristy things to do in Paris. And also try the best of what to do Montmartre.

Best What to See at Paris Day 2024 8

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